With all the talk about the 2nd Avenue Deli closing, I decided to pay a visit to a real Lower East Side landmark: Moishe's Jewish Bakery on 2nd Avenue between 6th & 7th Streets.
My gosh! I must pass this sweet shop so many times when I'm downtown but this time I decided to go inside. I haven't been there since I've been a boy but thankfully it's stayed in business without me.
I felt like I was stepping into a time warp and could almost hear the Twilight Zone music playing. The bakery must be almost 100 years old and is so quaint in a real way - not made up chain store New England cutesy if ya know what I mean. Cookies, rugelach, cakes, and cream puffs are neatly displayed in glass counters. A very old-fashioned working bread slicer sits on another counter. Two European women take orders while the baker (who looks like a nice rabbi as well) is in the back.
I bought a very fresh loaf of challah bread and they sliced it for me and I made delicious French toast.
The bread really beat anything I've tasted for brunch in the frou-frou East Village restaurants.
Moishe's really is a remnant of the disappearing Lower East Side (sorry -- I just refuse to call this area the "East Village" - that's a made-up name the real estate boys made up years ago when Greenwich Village was no longer affordable and they had to gussy up the tenements on the Lower East Side and give it a nicer name).
I'm going back to Moishe's soon for pastries and more challah bread. Everything old is new again!